view and facilities, with a few even wondering how all this came about. Here’s our story from when
the park was just an idea …through some harrowing times, when it all seemed a lost cause…to how it
has recently doubled in size,
After finishing the SCMA’s Four Corners Tour with my wife, Diane, in 2000, I thought that we might be
able to bring tourism to northern Maine by popularizing this tour. Prior to that, the problem had always
been: what would
bring people so far north? They would need a reason. As an AMA member tasked with protecting the
future of motorcycling and promoting the motorcycling lifestyle, I thought: what better way can we
accomplish this than by creating the only motorcycle park in the world that honors the riders of long-
distance motorcycling. They, in turn, would buy granite pavers to commemorate their achievement
and that would pay the expenses incurred running the park.
So, by 2004, we thought we had all bases covered. We organized a meeting for the general public and
presented our plan. A lot of people wanted it, saw value in it but were afraid that it would never get
off the ground. As president of the meeting I had to convince them the plan was solid and would
succeed. We contacted
Fraser Papers, which had a piece of land next to McDonald’s, to see if they would donate it for the
cause. They said they would. With that accomplished on a handshake, we started raising funds to buy
a 12-foot tall granite monument costing $10,000. Well, we succeeded in raising those funds soon
enough, and we purchased the monument, which we then installed on the donated land (whose deed
had yet to be transferred to us).
A few months later, unfortunately, Homeland Security contacted us and said that we needed to find
place for the monument, since they needed the Fraser property for a border crossing they wanted to
build. At that point, we had no other property for a park nor a place for the monument. As a temporary
measure, we convinced our postmaster to let us install the monument in front of the post office; but
that still left us without an actual park. At about that time, the town of Madawaska came to the rescue
and offered us a piece of land, if we would pay the back taxes on it.
I told my wife, “If I don’t use my own money to buy the property, someone else will. And where could
we find a better place for the park?” So I assembled a group of civic-minded individuals and started
our association, set up as a 501(3) non-profit organization, with a president, a secretary and directors.
I brought the offer to buy the land at one of our meetings and, surprisingly, one of the directors said
he would help me purchase it, if the
association would reimburse the both of us when sufficient funds became available.
In 2008, I contacted one of my friends who owns a construction company, Ed Pelletier and Sons
Construction, and asked if they could, in some way, help with providing machinery to help build the
park. The response was ,
“What do you need?” I told them, “Bulldozers, dump trucks, pay loaders, etc.” They said, “We’ll be
tomorrow morning.” And true to their word, they came, donating their time and machinery carting away
the rubble and grading the grounds. At that point, the Madawaska Four Corners Park had begun.
Soon, volunteers came
from all over and worked long hours installing a base for the monument, flagpoles, signage, the
substructure and frame for the fountain, etc., with one of the electricians even donating his services
to wire the park. And, suddenly, we had a park for the townspeople to enjoy, as well as a tourist
attraction for the local economy.
In 2012, Charles Lamb from Richmond, Virginia, (one of the benefactors of the park on many previous
occasions) e-mailed me a challenge that he would contribute $35,000 dollars towards buying the
abandoned building next to the park, which I had mentioned to him as my next project ,we needed a
parking lot. His only condition was that I would have to raise the other $35,000. I told him the
population of Madawaska is only around 3500, so
that would be quite a task. But I took the challenge and started sending letters to friends and
country in a massive fund-raising drive. After all was said and done, I had collected $35,900 to match
contribution. When I called him with the good news, he said proudly, “Joe, the check’s in the mail."
had no use for the building and did not have the funds to demolish it, nor could we count on Ed doing
more than he
had already done, we thought up another win-win situation by donating it to the Four Seasons Lodge,
another non-profit organization, if they would tear it down, saving the wood, windows and doors for a
badly needed garage they wanted to build. Once the building was removed, the grounds prepared
and paved, we had our new parking lot.
That’s our story so far. Since we are so far north and want to accommodate tourists properly we are
now in the process of building a Welcome/Information Center with a clean handicap access restroom
so our visitors do not have to look down into a porta-potty. lol
Donations can be sent to Madawaska Four Corners Park, P.O.Box 261, Madawaska Maine 04756.
c/o Welcome / Information Center .
We are a 501 (C) (3) non-profit organization
Federal ID #20-1689127
Please indicate if you would like a receipt for tax purposes